Chicken Piccata

I am in a bit of a cooking rut right now. My creativity has been sucked out of me and cooking has just not felt totally right the last few days. For dinner last night I knew I had to make something, so I pulled this recipe together with ingredients I already had in the house. This is a much lighter and easy to make version of every one's favorite lemony Italian meal. I did not use any butter and chose a multigrain pasta. The flavors turned out bright, the chicken was moist, and all was better in the world. I think that being in between seasons makes cooking a bit confusing. I look forward to steady warm weather, crisp vegetables, and using the grill as my primary cooking source. Until then, it is fun to put together some every day meals for all of you.

Chicken Piccata
Forks & Amusement 2011
serves 4

4 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs), rinsed, patted dry and pounded to even out the thickness to 1/2 inch
a couple tablespoons of flour
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
7.5 oz of pasta like spaghetti or angel hair, half a box
3 shallots chopped (you could also use garlic or onions)
1 cup of dry white wine
juice of 2 lemons, plus a little extra for serving
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove.

Sprinkle the flour, salt, and pepper over the chicken breasts to coat. Shake off excess and repeat on other side. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken to the pan.  Brown and cook on both sides, about 7 minutes.

Remove chicken from the pan and cover with foil or place in oven to keep warm. Add the shallots. Cook until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Turn heat to high. Add the wine to the pan and scrape up the bottom bits, cook until wine has reduced by half. Add in the lemon juice and the stock and continue to cook until reduced a bit and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and set aside.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add in the capers and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place the chicken on serving plates and spoon some sauce over the chicken. Toss the rest of the sauce with the pasta in the skillet, allowing it to soak it up. Divide the pasta among the plates. Garnish with some parsley, parmesan cheese, and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.


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